21 Mar 2007 rillian   » (Master)

GPL Ghostscript 8.56

I've pushed out a new stable release of Ghostscript, the free software ps and pdf interpreter and conversion engine.

This is the second release we've we've made directly under the GPL after years of a one-version delay. The previous was 8.54. We skipped 8.55 to avoid confusion with the GNU fork's follow-on release to 8.54 under that number.

GPL GhostPCL and GhostXPS

I'm also very pleased to announce that we're now doing our development of the GhostPCL and GhostXPS interpreters under the GPL. Previously, we only made occasional releases available under the AFPL

We don't currently have a release under the GPL, but a developer snapshot is available. Hopefully this will make the other half of Artifex's work more useful to the open source community, and raise awareness of what we've been doing with the Ghostscript codebase.

While GhostPCL and GhostXPS have separate interpreter codebases, both are just front ends for Ghostscript, calling into the same graphics library and output device backends as the PS interpreter.

This is the first time we've released our implementation of Microsoft's XPS. It's very alpha, but works on some documents. I know there are a couple of other free software implementations out there, so it's good to be able to show people ours.

But not HD Photo

We have not however implemented the HD Photo spec, included in the XPS format. While Microsoft has been making bold claims about how open and free their new PDF clone is, it's not at all clear if they're going to allow free software implementation of their new image format.

People have mostly been letting them get away with this bait-and-switch. We in the FLOSS community need to ask them some hard questions about when they're going to publish the spec without a dodgy EULA and what exactly they're granting with respect to implementation and distribution rights.

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